Back from summer "vacation" with some mod ideas - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Interior Semi-Tech General discussion of interior for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 09-06-2006
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Back from summer "vacation" with some mod ideas

Hey all, I'm back. Sorry I wasn't around all summer, let's just say I got the most out of my internship...

Anyway, I'm back and I have two mods in mind. The first is the classic overhead console mod, which looks easy enough. I've always wanted one of those compass/thermometer deals despite my directional abilities (guess I'm just a gadget guy).

The second mod, however, I think will be pretty cool once I actually take the plunge and do it... I noticed from my adventures with a loose shift **** that the shift indicators are a separate plastic piece that looks to be removable. I had resolved to glue it into place but never got around to it. Then, I came across these on the internet...

http://www.frozencpu.com/ele-70.html

Then I got to thinking and put 2 and 2 together. Pop out the indicator on the stock shifter, bore out a larger hole that I can put a piece of acrylic in and embed an LED. Then glue the indicator back on and viola! A lighted ring around the shift indicator! Should look wicked cool when I'm done. I just need to find another stock shift **** as a replacement/backup if I goof... half of the fun will be trying to figure out how to dissassemble the thing without killing it...
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Old 09-06-2006
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get r done
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Old 09-06-2006
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good idea with the shift know but how will you get the wires to the LED, and make it look correct without the wire zip tied to the shifter itself?
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Old 09-06-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifted97ranger
good idea with the shift know but how will you get the wires to the LED, and make it look correct without the wire zip tied to the shifter itself?
The idea was to zip tie the wires to the shifter... the boot runs all the way up against the **** so it should be hidden. The tricky part will be getting the wires into the **** from there and keeping them hidden... which I'm still mulling over...
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Old 09-06-2006
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can you punch a small hole in the shaft (lol, shaft) and run the wires up the the ****?
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Old 09-06-2006
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Originally Posted by WhiteRabbit22
can you punch a small hole in the shaft (lol, shaft) and run the wires up the the ****?
I was considering that. The only issue with taking that approach (or any, for that matter) would be how to properly place disconnects so the **** can be removed as needed without too much fuss. The only thing making it difficult is I want to use an RGB led, which would mean 4 wires... that's a sizable interconnect for the small (3/8"?) I/D of the shaft. Perhaps two staggered connectors would work. I hope to use an RGB led so I can use it as an indicator of sorts (eg: green in 1st through 5th gear, red in reverse), but perhaps that's getting too fancy.

I've started playing around with a small (2" x 2") square of plexiglass to try and get the proper "glow" effect for the edges, which will be angled to match the curve of the ****. So far results have been less than impressive... maybe I just need different grit sandpaper (currently using a file from one of those 10 in 1 cresent wrench tools). I'm using a blue LED which is fairly bright, however trying to shine light at a 90 degree angle to the normal focus of an LED is not very easy...
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Old 09-09-2006
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How thick is that piece of plexi? I'm guessing that you are trying this with the led just sitting under the piece, if the piece if plexi were thick enough you could bore out a hole in the center for the LED to stick up into I'm thinking it should produce the effect you want. As for shaping the plastic you edfinantley want something alot finer than that for finishing.
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Old 09-10-2006
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The plexiglass is about 1/8" thick. That's the way I was going to do it, stick the LED streight up through the material. The only problem is an LED is a directed source of light... it dosn't fan out to the sides very well. Perhaps I could coat the bottom of the cap with a reflective material before I glue it (going to have to sand down the bottom of it anyway to make it fit properly with a new layer of material under it). Picked up some sand paper from ACE yesterday (60, 100 and 220 grit), however this mod has been temporarily put on hold as the overhead console came in yesterday. It's already mounted (pics to come sometime this week I hope), just got to get it wired.
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Old 09-10-2006
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Well I got the console mounted and the wires pulled, but I'm having some issues trying to locate the VSS wire. If the GEM is in fact behind the radio in my truck (a '97 XLT) then it does not look like the one on cardomain.com. Both black boxes behind the radio only have one connector coming out of them. I'll try to snap some pictures tomorrow afternoon when I get home.
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Old 09-11-2006
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Got her hooked up and working! Not sure if VSS is hooked up right... time will tell I guess (at least it didn't let out the magic blue smoke). Here is how I attached the VSS wire in my '97 (very different than John's guide), the gray wire highlighted on the left-hand side is the one I tapped (not yet tapped in this picture):



The hardest part about this mod (aside from bringing myself to carve up the interior) was running wires into the engine bay. I opted to take the temperature sensor wires through the gromit used for the hood latch release cable, like so:



I just zip-tied the sensor to a thick wire in front of the battery. Seemed like a good enough place to me... time will tell if it measures OK or not...



And the final product, both off...



and on...



This mod even had a bonus. Before I wired in the map lights, my dome light didn't quite work right... it didn't come on when the door was opened. I guess the screw that completed the circuit for the dome light was making bad contact... so I've gone from 0 lights when opening a door to having 4 lights when opening a door... almost blinding!

Next up is the shift **** mod, hopefully that one will go as well as the console mod...
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Old 09-12-2006
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very nice. Now you will know exactly what the temp of your block is? that's the point right? nice.
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Old 09-12-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteRabbit22
very nice. Now you will know exactly what the temp of your block is? that's the point right? nice.
External air temperature is the point. That and which way is magnetic north.

I think something is wrong with the temperature sensor though. Started it up this morning, it read 42F. Went up to 54F. Thought that was a bit low (supposed to have been 64F this morning, but I guess 10F isn't too bad), then I started moving. Got up to 50, then swung wildly between 30F and 50F. The sensor finally decided on 34F and stayed there for over an hour until I got to work. This afternoon I think it read 50 something. I think it's the right sensor (blue wires with white and yellow stripes)... what's the deal? Anyone?
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